Norway Decides Against Drilling for Billions of Barrels of Oil in Arctic

The move shows growing awareness for the importance of sustainability

Jun 14, 2019

(V. Belov / Shutterstock.com)

In an incredible environmental feat, Norway has decided to keep billions of barrels of oil in the ground.

Oil and gas companies were hoping to mine the deep waters of the Lofoten archipelago, which is an ecological marvel. The islands are home to millions of sea birds, including puffins and eagles, and also hosts the world’s largest deepwater coral reef. Not to mention breathtaking mountains, bays, and untouched lands.

An estimated one to three billion barrels of oil are also hiding under the ground- making these arctic islands a highly contested site.

However, in a surprising turn of events that took place this weekend, the opposition labor party changed their position regarding drilling in the region and voted to pass the ban.

This is a particularly momentous occasion because Norway is one of the largest oil producers in the world and has therefore profited tremendously from these fuels.

The labor party’s shift is part of a larger political movement in Norway that recognizes the dangers of climate change and is working to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

Just last week, the country decided that money from their $1 trillion oil fund (the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world) can go to renewable energy projects that are not listed on the stock market. The fund already invests billions of dollars in clean energy projects that are on the market.

Norway also declared last month that the oil fund would stop investing in 134 companies that explore for gas and oil, and instead invest in larger oil companies that allocate funds towards renewable energy projects.

This ground-breaking legislation will hopefully encourage other oil-rich countries to ban offshore drilling and increase investment in renewable energies.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.

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